article on scouring (washing) fleece

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red
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article on scouring (washing) fleece

Post: #138602 red
Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:08 pm

a few of us do this, and we all have different ways, - and the subject comes up fairly often. anyone interesting in taking part in writing an article for the main ish website on how to scour a fleece?
I thought maybe we could each write how we do it, include pictures etc?
Red

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Re: article on scouring (washing) fleece

Post: #138604 snapdragon
Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:13 pm

Good plan red :hugish:

I'm just scouring a fleece - I shall take photo's as I go
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Re: article on scouring (washing) fleece

Post: #138608 Berti
Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:23 am

red contacted me regarding this and I am in..........happy to help with my 7 years experience ....
give me a few days.

berti

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Re: article on scouring (washing) fleece

Post: #138711 red
Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:27 pm

yay! well lets just each write what we do, here, inc pictures, then we can mash it around until it looks right and then submit for the site. have to warn you though... I am the queen of typos...
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Re: article on scouring (washing) fleece

Post: #138833 Green Aura
Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:27 am

Great idea folks, but could you get cracking - I bought a fleece just before christmas and have no idea where to start with it. Is that good timing or what? :lol:
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Re: article on scouring (washing) fleece

Post: #138937 red
Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:24 pm

Green Aura wrote:Great idea folks, but could you get cracking - I bought a fleece just before christmas and have no idea where to start with it. Is that good timing or what? :lol:

excellent!

there are differing opinions on where to store you fleece before you wash it,. but I was told to wrap in something breathable like an old sheet, and stash somewhere dry.. like the garden shed. we did and they survived fine. so thats a starter for ten!
Red

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Re: article on scouring (washing) fleece

Post: #138967 snapdragon
Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:25 pm

Nod Nod - paper sack or pillow case

my main problem is how much to throw, mine have mostly been full unskirted fleeces and while some is obviously 'gash' for the compost heap other bits I'm not sure whether to keep or not
Say what you mean and be who you are, Those who mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind

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Re: article on scouring (washing) fleece

Post: #138976 red
Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:47 pm

our own fleeces from our own sheep - we have pulled off all the dungy bits before rolling up.. so throw little out after that

we were given a brown fleece.. in a bin bag.. poo an all.. reaked!! but again. anything really pooey to the compost heap... got some nice yarn out of that eventually
Red

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Re: article on scouring (washing) fleece

Post: #139078 red
Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:00 pm

ok so a start:

Method 1: by Red
you will need:
a washing up bowl
washing soda crystals
washing up liquid
hot water

The method I use is to only work on a small part of fleece at a time, the advantage being that it's not so daunting and you can keep the rest of the fleece 'in the grease', in your shed!

When you first get your fleece, it needs to be 'skirted' - this will often be done by the farmer, but if you are the farmer .. then it's up to you. Lay the fleece out and remove a few inches all the way around, and probably more around the tail end, depending on how mucky the fleece is. Remove any other mucky or stained parts, then wrap up in an old sheet or duvet cover and store somewhere cool and dry, until you are ready to scour.

Start by gently tearing off a piece of fleece about the same size as your washing up bowl. Sit down and go over it, picking out debris and particularly pooey bits of wool, you can put these disgarded pieces on the compost heap.

Now fill up the washing up bowl with water just as hot as you can stand to put your hands into, then shake in about a few tablespoons of the washing soda and a squirt of washing up liquid. Gently immerse the fleece into the water. At this point the water will go pretty murky - thats the lanolin rushing out. NB, if you are allergic to lanolin, you should be wearing gloves, but to be honest, if you have a problem with lanolin, working will wool might not be for you.

To wash wool you need soap and hot water, to felt wool you need soap hot water and agitation.. so the key is not to move it around much at all. Gently push the fleece with your fingertips, and squeeze it - but very very carefully. You can very gently work on a muddy lock with your fingers, but gently gently. Did I mention being gentle?

Next lift the fleece out of the water (don't pour the water off the fleece, any grit and dirt you washed off will just collect on the fleece again), rinse your bowl and refill with just hot water, the same temperature as the first time.

Gently immerse the fleece again, then lift out again. If it's a particularly dirty fleece you might have to repeat the washing and rinsing steps again, but generally I don't have to.
now you need to dry the fleece - and best to get as much water out now as possible - I tie it up in an old pillowcase, quite closely, and use the spin only cycle of my washing machine. then the fleece is laid on a rack - ours are an old caravan drying rack, and an arrangement made out of an old picnic table and some fridge shelves. We dry ours near a radiator in winter, or outside in summer.

Once it is completely dry, bag it up in ziplock bags or sealable boxes, to keep it away from moths. now it is ready for carding and spinning!
Red

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Re: article on scouring (washing) fleece

Post: #139079 red
Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:05 pm

I'll do some pictures to go with it...
Red

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Re: article on scouring (washing) fleece

Post: #139631 red
Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:33 pm

some pictures

before:

unwashed fleece.JPG
unwashed fleece.JPG (338.58 KiB) Viewed 2256 times


during
washingfleece.JPG
washingfleece.JPG (174.57 KiB) Viewed 2258 times


and after:
cleanfleece.JPG
cleanfleece.JPG (177.14 KiB) Viewed 2255 times
Red

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Re: article on scouring (washing) fleece

Post: #139633 witch way
Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:47 pm

I don't wash mine until they're skiened - I'm not sure if that's how you spell it.

I bought about 70 fleece from e-bay and am storing them in the caravan. I take off the pooey bits and put them in the compost. Then the rougher bits get felted to make insulation for the bee hives and worm bins. The next nicest bits I'm using to pegloom matted insulation for the conservatory roof and the really nice bits get put aside for spinning.

I spin the yarn with the lanolin on (I reckon a girl needs all the moisturising she can get) then skien the wool and twist it and wash it in a pillowcase in the washing machine on a 30 wash. Then take it out and add acrylic yarn if its for socks or just knit it up for anything else.

I'm still quite new to messing about with fleeces but would've thought there would be fewer problems with accidental felting once the item is made up?

ww.

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Re: article on scouring (washing) fleece

Post: #139635 red
Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:59 pm

70 fleeces? that will keep you busy for a while! yes.. guess the article shoudl mention some people prefer to spin in the grease.
Red

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Re: article on scouring (washing) fleece

Post: #148651 becks77
Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:32 pm

This is fantastic info am just scouring my first ever fleece and its coming up really well
Thank you :thumbleft:
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Re: article on scouring (washing) fleece

Post: #148686 red
Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:58 pm

becks77 wrote:This is fantastic info am just scouring my first ever fleece and its coming up really well
Thank you :thumbleft:

excellent :flower: - what are your plans for the fleece?
Red

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